The race of the century is over — and it was all that was promised. Former NBA player, current analyst, and all-around badass Sir Charles beat NBA referee Dick Bavetta in a race at the All Star weekend in Las Vegas Saturday night (just before the 3 point shootout took place). The whole thing started when Barkley ridiculed Bavetta while filling in for Steve Kerr as an analyst on TNT and bragged he could beat Bavetta in a race. When Bavetta got word of Barkley’s boast, he decided to take Barkley up on the challenge and they agreed to do it over All Star weekend.
The two raced up and down full court twice and then finished it up at half-court. Barkley was enjoying a healthy lead after the first two laps and felt it was time for some good old fashioned showboating. Barkley ran the final leg of the race backwards. Like a baby boy chasing after his older brother, Bavetta made a futile attempt diving head-first into the finish line at mid-court only to come up short.
What’s interesting about the race — besides the fact that it stole the show — is that Bavetta appeared to be moving so much faster than Sir Charles. It reminded me of watching Vince Young run for the Titans, he takes long strides and doesn’t appear to be moving too fast, but there he is out-running the entire defense and scoring touchdowns. And that my friends is how Barkley looked racing Bavetta.
But the show wasn’t quite over. For their final act, the two embraced at half court following the race, and much like a man and woman are pronounced husband and wife, Charles Barkley kissed his bride, Dick Bavetta. The affectionate display between the two men — no doubt well-timed because of Tim Hardaway’s anti-gay remarks – raises an interesting question. Will their moment of embrace spark the newest blog?